Food Psych #158: How to Heal from Weight Stigma with Kathleen Bishop


Health at Every Size therapist Kathleen Bishop shares how the trauma of dieting gets passed from one generation to the next, how to mourn the loss of the life that diet culture stole from you, ways to start recovering from internalized weight stigma, the connection between substance use disorders and eating disorders, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to accept your changing body and stop beating yourself up for not being the same size you were 10 years ago.

Kathleen A. Bishop from San José, California. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Relapse Prevention Specialist. In private practice, she specializes in Eating and Substance Use Disorders. and she works at a non-profit providing Intensive Outpatient Treatment to clients with Substance Use Disorder and cooccurring mental health conditions like anxiety, depression or Eating Disorders. Kathleen, who is also a body positive size diversity activist who promotes Health At Every Size (HAES) principles to end stigma and mistreatment that is associated with weight, has overcome her own body image obsessions and she shares her great insights with us! Find her online at

Enrollment for my latest Master Your Anti-Diet Message live webinar is open now! Register this week for early bird pricing.

We Discuss:

  • Kathleen’s relationship with food growing up, including her exposure to diet foods at a young age and her experience watching her mother weight cycle and diet her whole life

  • Intergenerational trauma, including how watching our parents chronically suffer due to diet culture can impact us in adulthood, and even in later generations

  • Kathleen’s experience with various eating disorders, including bulimia, and how it intersects with her alcohol use

  • The connection between substance abuse and eating disorders

  • The pros and cons of Overeaters Anonymous, including how it gives us a supportive community but also encourages restriction

  • How seductive the short-term results from our very first diet can be

  • Kathleen’s experience with weight cycling

  • Why our bodies push us towards food and prevent weight loss in times of deprivation

  • Kathleen’s career trajectory, and how she found her drive to better her life

  • The social aspect of diet culture, and the lure of social connection through the diet mentality

  • Kathleen’s discovery of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • How intuitive eating becomes intuitive living, including how we learn to set boundaries and the ways in which we reclaim our time and energy when we leave dieting behind for good

  • Why grieving is an important part of the process from healing from diet culture

  • The ways in which Health at Every Size can spark our fire around advocacy and social justice

  • How to confront our privilege and unlearn our personal biases

  • Kathleen’s experience with EMDR therapy and trauma-informed care, why processing trauma is essential for mental wellbeing, and how EMDR therapy can help with body image concerns

  • Body image and weight stigma as trauma, and how we can recover from internalized weight stigma

  • The power in changing our clothing and rejecting clothing rules

  • How to embrace body diversity and different kinds of beauty

  • How to see the sneaky iterations of diet culture for what they really are, and how the diet industry and the gastric bypass surgery industry tries to keep us hooked

  • Why weight loss surgery is so harmful, and why we need to change the culture rather than our bodies

  • The growth of the Health at Every Size community

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How do we accept our changing body with age or the changing of circumstances? What are some strategies that we can use when we begin to feel nostalgic for your old body? Is the desire to change our bodies really about our body, or is it about something bigger? How can we meet our needs without resorting to weight loss efforts?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast episode 154 and 151)

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Food Psych #137: How to Navigate Diet Culture with Evette Dionne

Evette Dionne

Writer and editor Evette Dionne joins us to talk about how to fight fatphobia and advocate for yourself in healthcare settings, how to navigate difficult conversations and challenge weight stigma in close relationships, why the body-positive movement needs to be intersectional, how oppression is learned and can be unlearned, why it’s important to acknowledge our privilege, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with friends and family who are stuck in diet culture.

Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, she’s the senior editor at Bitch Media and regularly contributes stories about race, size, gender, and popular culture to Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, MIC, and other print and digital publications. Find her online at

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.


We Discuss:

  • Evette’s relationship with food growing up, including connecting food with family and love

  • Evette’s experience with food and body shaming from authority figures

  • Fatphobic school environments, Evette’s experience with harassment, and how it led to the development of agoraphobia

  • Evette’s transition into the workforce and obtaining her GED, and her experience with food policing from a manager

  • Navigating food choices with newfound independence

  • The pressure on college students to avoid weight gain

  • The connection between emotional eating and restriction, and using food as a coping mechanism

  • The traumatizing effect of weight concerns

  • The threshold of acceptable fatness

  • Medical fatphobia, weight stigma in healthcare, and the need for self-advocacy at the doctor (refusing to be weighed, asking for pillows at the gynecologist, and insisting that any specialist tests are pushed to the yearly physical)

  • Fat shaming getting in the way of proper medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Compassion and Health at Every Size as effective intervention strategies

  • Patriarchy, sexism, racism, ableism, and why the body-positive movement must be feminist, political, and intersectional

  • The radical origins of body positivity in fat acceptance and the need to push for a more equitable world

  • Empowerment vs activism and the need for systemic change

  • Learning and unlearning our own oppression, building the body of knowledge around us so we can fight back, and learning how to have these difficult conversations in order to challenge someone’s fatphobia within close relationships

  • Giving people the space to grow while also barring yourself against toxic relationships

  • How we are all complicit in this culture that makes it unsafe for marginalized bodies

  • The problem with staying in the comfortable stage of the body-positive journey

  • Moving away from black-and-white thinking

  • Acknowledging privilege, moving beyond shame, and grappling with feeling defensive


Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.


Listener Question of the Week

How do we create distance between ourselves and diet culture? What do we do it diet talk is permeating your relationships with friends and family? Is there a way to push people towards anti-diet ideas before they’re ready? How does “planting seeds” work? Can New Year's’ Resolutions fit into this distancing process? How do we make our boundaries around diet talk clear to those around you?

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